Why Red Matters

Carnegie Higher Ed Oct 26, 2015 Carnegie Higher Ed Persona The Visionary Frontrunner

The simple answer: impact! When I meet with our partners in admission, enrollment, or marketing, we start to talk about everything we can do to help and all the things they want to accomplish. Sounds great, right? But here’s the problem: we have to ask, “can we make an impact if we spread the plan too thin?”

We all dream bigger than our budgets, and determining how to prioritize is key. We want to be able to recruit to our core strong prospects; add on a little California, Texas, Pennsylvania, Florida, and New York; and top it off with a healthy dose of India and Brazil. Sure, we can market a little in all those places, but can we make an impact? So, back to why red matters.

I often use the following example to explain the dilemma. If you had a white room and you asked me to paint it red while only giving me one can of red paint, what would I do? If I painted every wall you’d have a light pink room, which is not exactly the impact you were looking for! But if I paint only two of the walls, the impact will feel red. The same is true in marketing. If we narrow the area and focus the strategies, we can make a measurable impact in the regions that are red. So prioritize, use data to decide where you can move the needle, and give yourself a campaign where you can measure impact. Once you can show results, you can gain the support to go buy another can of paint and add another wall!

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